Language Empire wants to help Public Sector, Private Sector, NGO’s and Charities to meet their legal requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act. This act means that you are now obliged to make your service as accessible as possible to disabled people (currently estimated to be one in five). We work in many settings – hospitals, schools, theatres, business meetings, weddings, interviews, social services, courts and legal meetings, and with many different types of documentation.
Language-Empire provides British Sign Language & Special Disability Interpreters. We take pride in the fact that all of our language professionals are both qualified and experienced including our BSL Interpreters.
Our BSL Interpreters are committed and able to complete assignments such as:
- media events
- training sessions
- medical appointments
- courts of law
- job interviews
Our BSL and Special Disability Interpreters provide the following services:
- Sign Supported English,
- British Sign Language,
- Finger Spelling,
- Note takers (Electronic and Manual)
- Speech to Text Reporters
- Lip Speaking,
- Other Deafblind Communicators
Language Empire will only hire BSL and special disability interpreters approved by the `National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People. To find out more visit http://www.signature.org.uk/
Makaton is a system of communication that uses a vocabulary of "key word" manual signs and gestures to support speech, as well as graphic symbols to support the written word. It is used by and with people who have communication, language or learning difficulties. Most Makaton users are children or adults who need it as their main means of communication. But anyone who shares a life with a Makaton user must also know how to use Makaton. These include families, carer’s friends and professionals such as teachers, speech and language therapists, and social workers, playgroup staff, college/ university lectures, instructor’s nurses and psychiatrists. Makaton is an internationally recognised communication programme and is used in over 40 countries worldwide. The UK government has legislation on public and commercial services they must provide access to important information for everyone, including sign and symbol user. This can be achieved by translation into Makaton symbols and signs.
Deaf Blind Manual
The Deaf Blind Manual is the best way to communicate with someone who is both deaf and blind. The English Deaf Blind Manual Alphabet is based on two- hand manual alphabet used by many sighted deaf people. Deaf and Blind people who do not know the manual alphabet may use the Spartan alphabet – capital letter spelt on the palm of the receiver’s hand. Also known as finger spelling, the Deaf Blind Also known as finger-spelling, the Deaf blind Manual Alphabet is a method of spelling out words onto a deaf blind person's hand. Each letter is denoted by a particular sign or place on the hand. Although it does take some time to learn, the manual alphabet is faster to use and more commonly used.
Lip-reading is an aid to communication for Deaf and hard of hearing people. This helps regain confidence and lessen the feelings of isolation that so often come with hearing loss. Lip-reading is 'seeing the sound of speech' – the movements of the lips and the tongue, together with facial expression and body language are all clues for the Lip reader. The Lip reader will also observe the syllables, the natural flow, the rhythm and phrasing and the stress of speech.
A lip speaker is a hearing person who has been professionally trained to help to lip-read. Lip speakers are used by deaf and hearing impaired people whose main means of communication is lip reading and speech. The lip speaker will repeat silently what is being said using clear lip patterns and will magnify the lip shapes made when speaking so that the deaf person can lip-read more easily. The message will be supported with facial expression and natural gesture. It is usually helpful if the lip speaker is familiar with the subject matter, therefore any reading material available in advance is beneficial.
Sign Supported English
Sign language is not the only way deaf people can use gestures or make signs with their hands to communicate. Sign language - whichever one - is usually preferential to other forms of gesture based communication systems because it is a language as a whole. It has grammar, structure, syntax and rules. However, for a variety of reasons people may not want to or indeed be able to learn a whole language based around signing. In this case, other forms of manually coded language come in. The most popular of these in the UK at least is Sign Supported English.
Sign Language is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language. Sign Language is used mainly by people who are Deaf or have hearing impairments. Within Britain the most common form of Sign Language is called British Sign Language (BSL). BSL has its own grammatical structure and syntax, as a language it is not dependant nor is it strongly related to spoken English. BSL is the preferred language of between 50,000 - 70,000 people within the UK.
Finger spelling is a method of spelling words using hand movements. Finger spelling is used in sign language to spell out names of people and places for which there is not a sign. Finger spelling can also be used to spell words for signs that the signer does not know the sign for, or to clarify a sign that is not known by the person reading the signer. Finger spelling signs are often also incorporated into other signs. Finger spelling is a method of communicating with the hands which is closely linked to sign language. However unlike sign language, it is not a language in its own right and does not have grammatical structures and syntaxes. Rather, it is a way of spelling out words instead of interpreting them as a gesture. This means that anyone who knows the finger spelling alphabet can communicate – though, it can be a lengthy process as every letter has to be spelt and is therefore not widely used for general conversations.
Speech to text reporter
STTRs produce verbatim record of what is said, using a phonetic keyboard, to be shown instantly on a monitor or screen. The STTR provides a complete translation of the spoken words and environmental sounds, such as laughter and applause.
A trained Reporter taking down the verbatim spoken word on a Palantype or Stenograph keyboard. The specially trained Reporter types what she/he hears onto the Palantype / Stenograph keyboard. This is not typing every letter but words, phrases and shortcuts (thus enabling it to be verbatim.) The computer programme then translates into English, which then appears on the laptop screen / projector screen. There is not an Oxford English Dictionary in the computer. Therefore, when words are new to the computer, it translates the typed text into what it thinks is being typed, and this then appears phonetically. A lot of people think it is very odd writing on a keyboard that has no letters.
Note taking is the practice of recording information captured from a transient source, such as an oral discussion at a meeting, or a lecture. Notes of a meeting are usually called minutes. The format of the initial record may often be informal and/or unstructured. One common format for such notes is shorthand, which can allow large amounts of information to be put on paper very quickly. Note taking is an important skill for students, especially at the college level. Professional Note takers provide access to information for people who cannot take their own notes, in particular the deaf and hearing impaired. Manual note taking requires pen and paper, while Electronic Note taking requires a laptop, often with special note taking software. Professional Note takers most frequently work in colleges and universities, but are also used in workplace meetings, appointments, conferences, and training sessions. They are usually educated to degree level. In the UK they are increasingly expected to have a professional note taking qualification, such as that offered by the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP).
Electronic notetakers produce a typed summary record of what is spoken using a laptop computer. The advantage of an electronic notetaker is that they can usually get more information down as typing is much faster than writing. Some electronic notetakers have specialist software with Speedtext or stereotype and this allows them to have interaction with the client through linking two laptops or other technology together.
Electronic notetakers should not be confused with verbatim speech to text reporters (STTRs) who use a phonetic keyboard which provides a verbatim service. Electronic notetakers will provide a précis service.
Manual notetakers produce a written summary record of what is spoken, using paper and pens. The manual notetaker will highlight important points of the text, link the text with any handouts or tasks needed by the client and ensure the client is aware of any issues arising in the meeting or lecture.